Holy Week commemorates God's primary purpose on earth, which is the giving of his only son Jesus Christ in exchange for the redemption of the sins of mankind. By submitting his son to die crucified on the cross, taking the sinner's place.
It is sad to recognize that in this time when we are supposed to remember God's greatest act of love, few people value such an effort. For many people burdened by their jobs perceive Holy Week as a "relaxing time", a vacation time.
What is Holy Week and when is it celebrated?
Also known as the Major Week, it is a period of seven days that begins with the so-called Palm Sunday, where some religions, such as Christians, remember the entrance of Christ into the world. Jesus to Jerusalem, and ends with Resurrection Sunday, commemorating the triumph of life over the death of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Holy Week begins at the end of Jesus' forty days in the desert, also known as the "Lent"Easter Sunday is celebrated on different days each year, and is determined by the lunar calendar. Thus, the Sunday following the first full moon after the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere is Easter Sunday (also called Gloria or Resurrection Sunday), which can fall between March 22 and April 25.
What is commemorated during Holy Week?
It is a time to dedicate to the prayer and reflect on Jesus Christ and the moments of the Paschal Triduum, because Jesus, with his infinite mercy, decides to take the place of men and receive the punishment to free mankind from the sin. It is also a perfect time for human beings to meditate on their actions and make the necessary changes to get closer to God and fulfill His commandments.
During Holy Week, Catholics perform various acts, such as processions, the dramatization of the death and passion of Christ, among others. Many penitents submit themselves to hard burdens as a symbol of their self-sacrifice and, on Good Friday, the faithful must observe fasting as well as abstaining from meat.
To understand a little more about what Christians commemorate as the Easter Triduum, that is, the three days of Holy Week that commemorate: the moments of the Passion, the death of Jesus through the Stations of the Cross, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The central celebrations of Holy Week are Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.
The Easter Triduum, in this sense, concentrates the most important moments of the liturgical year in Christianity.
Let us explain below the activities that are acclaimed for each of these days:
Holy Thursday celebrates the last supper of Jesus of Nazareth with his disciples, the institution of the Eucharist, the priestly ordination and the washing of feet. On this day, Catholics visit the seven temples or churches, on this day two events of singular importance occur according to the BibleThe last supper, where the Eucharist and the priesthood are instituted, and the washing of feet.
On this day, the institution of the Eucharist is usually commemorated by the celebration of the Holy Office, and the agony and prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane, in the Garden of Olives, the betrayal of Judas and the arrest of Jesus. In this last supper that Jesus shared with his disciples, he instituted communion, in which Christ leaves his body and blood transubstantiated in bread and wine.
The washing of the feet is the name given to the event in which Jesus, as an act of humility, washes the feet of his disciples, with the purpose of giving an example of love and service to his fellow men.
There is also the tradition of erecting the Holy Thursday monument, which is the chapel where the consecrated host is kept from Holy Thursday to Good Friday. In front of it, it is customary to give thank you to the Lord for his passion, by which, according to the Scriptures, he redeemed mankind.
is a holiday Christian which commemorates the death of Jesus of Nazareth. On this day, the Catholic Church commands its faithful, as penance, to keep fasting and abstinence from meat. Neither is the Eucharist celebrated, but the liturgy of the Passion of the Lord. Good Friday is, fundamentally, a day of mourning to remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Calvary, who sacrifices himself to redeem the sins of mankind and give it eternal life. Hence the cross has been taken as the symbol of glory for the worship of Christians.
During Good Friday it is customary: Cover the images of JesusEspecially in churches, crucifixes and images are covered with purple cloaks, as a sign of the absence of Jesus, in order to give the liturgy the characteristic discretion of the recollection to which the death of Jesus calls, and to reflect on the mystery of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ. Dressing the Virgin in mourning Maria, the image of the Virgin is dressed in black as a sign of her deep sorrow for the death of Jesus. Praying the Stations of the CrossAlso known as the Way of the Cross, this prayer accompanies Jesus in his final hours, as he goes through the fourteen moments (or fourteen stations), from his condemnation to his death and burial. Praying the creed at three o'clock in the afternoon, the moment of the crucifixion is usually remembered by praying the Apostles' Creed.
During the evening, the death of Christ is commemorated with solemn hymns, prayers of thanksgiving, as well as a message focused on Christ's suffering for us.
is a day of sorrow and sadness that is destined for silence, mourning, and reflection, just as Mary and the disciples did at the tomb. Likewise, during Holy Saturday in the Catholic Church no Eucharist is celebrated, no bells are rung, the tabernacle is left open and empty, the altar is stripped and no sacrament is administered except the Anointing of the Blessed Sacrament. the sick and Confession of sins. However, the doors of the church remain open, the lights are not turned on and the parents attend the confessions. The Solitude of Mary is also commemorated, remembering the moment when she takes the body of Jesus to the tomb.
also known as Easter Day, Glory Sunday or Holy Sunday, celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after he was crucified, as recounted in the New Testament of the Bible. It is the most important celebration of the Christian Church. With Easter begins a period known as the Easter Season, which lasts fifty days and ends on Pentecost Sunday.
According to the Holy Scriptures, with the Passover God gives to the Christians the hope by the resurrection and by a new way of life, represented in the return of Christ from the dead.
On the evening of the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered together behind closed doors for fear of the Jews, Jesus came in and stood in the midst of them and greeted them.
-Peace be upon you!
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. When the disciples saw the Lord, they rejoiced. -Peace be with you! -Jesus repeated. Like the Father sent me, so I send you.